I believe history is a story. It would be extremely difficult to understand what’s currently happening in the world without knowing what took place in the past.
If you were to take my life, for example…what I’m doing right now in 2014 would make no sense if you didn’t know my background story. When was I born? Who are my parents? Why did we move to Panama and back to Shreveport? When did I have children and how old are they? Knowing my history will help you to better understand the decisions I’m making currently. The same goes for our world history.
Knowing our past educates us to make better decisions for the future. Not only for us as individuals, but for our community and country.
With that said, I decided to take the classical approach of teaching the boys History in four stages over the course of four years that we will repeat once, making it eight years in total. Those four years will look like this:
- Year One: The Ancients – Creation to Christ 5000, B.C.-A.D. 400
- Year Two: Medieval – Early Renaissance, 400-1600
- Year Three: Late Renaissance – Early Modern, 1600-1850
- Year Four: Modern, 1850-present
In a true classical approach, you would start in 1st grade, repeating the four years twice, making a total of 12 years. Because we’re starting a little later, if we continue homeschooling throughout high school, we will finish our eight year cycle when Bexley is in 10th grade. From there, I’m thinking we will study U.S. History and Economics in depth. Now, that is a LONG time from now, so it’s pretty likely that may change 😉 BUT, at least I have a plan, right?
So this year, we are studying the Ancients using Story of the World, volume 1. We will use Story of the World for the first four-year cycle, then switch to the Mystery of History for the second four-year cycle (or before), which teaches history in the same time frames. I am extremely excited to eventually use the Mystery of History because it intertwines our biblical history with the world history most of us learned in school.
Here is an excerpt from the Mystery of History website:
“Above all, a favorite feature of Volume I is the weaving of Bible history with world history. In reality, it is all world history. But for most of us, history has not been taught this way. It has not been integrated. In The Mystery of History, I have retold major stories from the Bible in the order that they happened alongside significant world history events and figures. As an example, each one of the Old Testament prophets are given a biographical lesson near their contemporaries in old world history.
More examples of interesting figures who lived just decades apart include: Joshua and King Tut; Ruth and Helen of Troy; Daniel and Aesop; Ezekiel and Buddha; and Nehemiah and Socrates. Imagine lining up such amazing figures on one master timeline! Imagine learning their stories back to back in the order they happened! For most of us, it’s an illuminating experience.”
The only reason I waited on using MOH is because Linda Hobar suggests beginning at a 4th grade level. Remember, in a true classical education, 5th grade would be beginning the second cycle of studying the four-year historical approach. Since we started at an “off” time, I’m waiting on MOH. Plus, I had the Story of the World volume one for free to use AND I’d purchased the Activity Book used for only $10! So, I’m considering beginning MOH next year or the following, but we will see. I do enjoy SOTW, but miss having the biblical history throughout.
Right now, we’re listening to the audio CDs from volume one. The boys color a coloring page from the corresponding Activity Book that relates to the chapter we’re listening to. When the audio is over, we do a map skill (also included in the Activity Book) and usually a project, depending on time. So far, the boys LOVE when it’s time for History. It’s not something we do everyday, usually twice a week, but we take about 45 minutes to an hour to get the full affect of what we’re learning.
History is something I certainly appreciate more and more the older I get. And learning it this way with the kids is super exciting to me! Honestly, I feel like I’m the one getting the education! 😉